Sunday, June 17, 2012

Building with an Architect: The Cost Proposal

Shortly after our initial visit, John (our Architect), emailed us a Cost Proposal and I instantly got cold feet.

"Why?" you ask.  I can hear you thinking, "Didn't you do your research?  Didn't you know what to expect?"

Yes, the numbers he sent were exactly what I was expecting.  There were no surprises.  So why did I panic?  I'm sure it has everything to do with the fact that I have been feeding my family rice and beans for the last six years to stay alive.

Our cars are old, all of us live in hand-me-down clothes, and, to add an element of shock, our only television  has only a 19 inch screen!  To sign a legal document promising you will pay that much money is a mega-commitment.  Yes, even though we have been planning for it--hoping for it even!

The cost proposal came in the afternoon and I stewed about it all evening.  Will the amount of money we are willing to spend on this house be enough to get the house we need/want?  Should we tough it out in the trailer for another five or more years to pay off the student loans before we sign on any dotted line?  Why don't we enjoy having a little money in the bank before we promise it to someone else?  If we wait just a bit longer, will we be happier with the house we would then be able to afford?

The long and short of it is that we can't have the kind of life we worked to have until we have a house.  We are so crammed in this trailer.  No one has privacy or personal space--not that we need that much, but our two puberty aged children need a room with a door to close.  If we wait to build until after the student loans are all paid back, the oldest children will be nearly gone.

It is difficult to have friends over for dinner, book club, or birthday parties.  Now that it is summer, we can invite people over for outdoor events, but forget about entertaining indoors.

We can't have much of a food storage because the only place to store food is in the kitchen or in the mice infested garden shed.  There is no pantry, much less a basement, to keep large bags of flour or potatoes or cans of fruit.  And water storage?  Forget about it.

Many people lived their entire lives with more children in smaller spaces than ours, but the truth is that times have changed.  You can live without a computer and every space eating thing that comes with it, but we've determined that it is an important and useful tool.  You can live without shelves full of books, but as a home schooling family, we think that would be irresponsible.  Gone are the times when you can have only fourteen classics and still raise a well-rounded child.

We can live a simple life without giving up the God-given conveniences granted our society in 2012.

After living mortgage free for this long, it is difficult to think of owing that kind of money again.

This isn't the way we had planned to do it.  We had planned to buy a fixer to live in until our student loans were paid off.  But it was made very clear to us that THIS is where we are supposed to be.  We worked it out all weekend and this is right.

So . . .

taking pen in hand . . .

and taking a deep breath . . .

we are ready to jump.

Come what may.


  1. Hooray!! So exciting. It is not bad to have a reasonable home that you like to live in.

  2. Missing you Emily, I totally stalk your blog and drool over your posted dream pics. If your home features a fireplace mantle like the one you included, it would be a dream come true and so worth the wait. I hope it all happens for you and your family.
    BTW, guess who's been called as the new Primary Pres? Yup, silly ol' me!